May 24, 2024

Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas chart shows share of Filipinos in Canada in money remittances to the Philippines.

May 1, 2024 — Filipinos abroad are known to be hardworking and reliable.

They’re also generous in sending money to relatives and friends back in the Philippines.

To cite an example, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on April 15, 2024 reported that Overseas Filipinos (OFs) remitted a total of US$2.95 billion in February this year.

That’s up three percent from the US$2.86 billion recorded in February 2023.

Moreover, the central bank of the Philippines reported that cumulative personal remittances totalled US$6.10 billion in January-February 2024.

The sum represents an increase of 2.8 percent from US$5.93 billion recorded in January-February 2023.

The BSP report indicated that Filipinos in Canada accounted for 3.2 percent of cumulative personal remittances from Overseas Filipinos worldwide for the period of January-February 2024. 

The share of Filipinos in Canada in the remittances is noteworthy that the percentage was included in the chart released by the Philippine central bank.

In terms of country source, the United States accounted for the biggest share with 41.4 percent.

The U.S. was followed by Singapore, 7.3 percent; Saudi Arabia, 5.6 percent; and Japan, 5.2 percent.

Other countries that contributed to total remittances were the United Kingdom, 4.8 percent, United Arab Emirates, 3.8 percent; Taiwan, 2.9 percent; Qatar, 2.8 percent; and Malaysia, 2.5 percent.

Phebe Ferrer works as a project specialist with the Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada.

In a paper published in 2020 on the foundation’s website, Ferrer wrote that money remittances are “crucial for many developing countries”.

Remittances are a “vital stream of income” for households.

These money flows also “make up a sizeable portion” of the national gross domestic product (GDP) of developing countries, Ferrer noted.

“According to the World Bank, 41 per cent of all remittances sent in 2019 went to economies in the Asia Pacific. The top three recipient economies were also all in the region: China, India, and the Philippines,” Ferrer wrote.

Based on World Bank data cited by Ferrer, remittances from Filipinos abroad accounted for 10 percent of the GDP of the Philippines in 2019.

Ferrer also noted the role of Canada in global remittances.

“As one of the world’s major migration hubs, Canada plays an important role in the global exchange of remittances. In 2017, the World Bank estimated that Canadian residents sent C$32B in remittances abroad, making Canada the sixth largest source of remittances. The top recipients of Canada’s remittances are in the Asia Pacific, particularly China, India, and the Philippines.”

In 2019, Statistics Canada released a paper titled “Study on International Money Transfers from Canada”.

Authored by Zacharie Tsala Dimbuene and Martin Turcotte, the statistics agency noted that in “some countries, like the Philippines, the government actively promotes the training and the deployment of young adults to work abroad and send back remittances –especially women in the case of the Philippines”.

The Philippines, India, the United States, China and Pakistan were the top five destinations of remittances from Canada, the paper noted.

“The Philippines received a significant share of remittances from Canada, with $1.2 billion in 2017. India ranked second, receiving $794 million. Interestingly, the United States ($390 million) ranked third among countries receiving remittances from Canada.”

The Statistics Canada paper explained that the large share of the U.S. may be because “Canadian residents born in ODA-eligible countries may have relatives and friends who also migrated from their home countries but are living in the United States”.

The last two of the top five countries that received remittances from Canada in 2017 were China ($292 million) and Pakistan ($236 million).

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